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Prosecute creators of payroll ‘ghosts’ – Mahama orders

Mahama at Employment summit

The President, John Dramani Mahama has directed that persons found to have deliberately inflated various payroll systems popularly called “ghost names” across the public sector should be prosecuted.

He defends that this if implemented to the latter would help clean the public wage bill.

He made the submission when he opened the 2nd national forum on the Single  Spine Pay policy in Takoradi on Friday.

The forum was to review the challenges in implementing the policy.

The forum under the theme “Sustaining The Single Spine Pay Policy” is expected to find ways of enhancing productivity to sustain the policy.

The President in outlining the measures put in place to clean the public payroll indicated that government has embarked on staff audit of various public sector institutions.

President Mahama directed that persons found complicit in such acts should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent.

“Some of the ghost are real ghost and occur inadvertently but there are some of the ghosts who are man-made and they are intentionally resurrected on the payroll.”

He said: “I’ve ask that for the ghosts that are man made the human creators of these ghosts when discovered should be prosecuted. Where persons who have engaged in impropriety have been found out like in the National Service Scheme we will ensure prosecution if those people are caught up with. We expect that organized labour will be a partner in this fight,” he said.

He further gave assurances to the effect that government will seek to sustain the pay policy, which was introduced in 2010.

Payroll brouhaha 

Government has been battling to rid the payroll system of ghost names who are still being paid by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD).

President of Policy think tank IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe had earlier alleged that there are numerous ghost names in the payroll system despite efforts put in place to  prevent the such occurrence.

He argued that some documents available to him suggests that the ghost names included public sector workers who are on leave-without-pay and workers on transfer who are receiving double salaries.

20,000 ghost names deleted

In order to halt the payment of such monies however the CAGD in September 2014, suspended salaries of about 20,000 employees without bank accounts.

Ghost name account

In a related development, Government has directed the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to open a special account in which monies paid to alleged “ghost names” will be refunded to.

The Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper called on heads of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to assist government to  eliminate such names since “they manage the staff at the unit level.”

He was optimistic that the move will help bring sanity and help “improve the payroll and the accounting system.”

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey & Richard Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana